Barney proves you can’t keep a good dog down

Barney with vet Robert Young, owner SimonNeil  and physio Heather Halton.
Barney with vet Robert Young, owner SimonNeil and physio Heather Halton.

Barney the cocker spaniel is preparing for the final leg of walking the 212-mile Southern Upland Way, despite undergoing major surgery.

Simon Neal, from Kirk Yeholm, and Barney had done the first 50 miles of the trek when injury struck in November 2015 and Simon feared their chance of finishing the coast-to-coast walk was over for Barney.

However, Kelso vet Robert Young successfully operated on Barney’s snapped cruciate ligament in his stifle joint, canine physiotherapist Heather Halton followed up with phsyio sessions and the 13-year cocker spaniel has completed another 130 miles of his epic dog walk, with 40 miles left to go.

Now Simon is optimistic that he and Barney can finish the trek together this summer.

“I really didn’t think we would ever get to the point where we would complete the walk because Barney was so badly injured,” said Simon. “A couple of months after completing the first stage, Barney was playing on open fields when he suddenly yelped and came limping over.

“I took him to the vet and there was a choice of an operation or allowing it to repair by itself and him being left with a limp.”

Vet Robert Young said: “To come back from an injury like this and be able to clock up so many miles is incredible.

“Physiotherapy has been key to his recuperation as it is has made a big difference.

“He is a well looked after dog, who wasn’t overweight, and the surgery was done promptly so that gave him a good chance of recovering.”